But I shouldn't be concerned as we had planned for Rachel to enjoy herself with her cousins while we were away. I bought her a princess watch (Ariel) which she had always wanted.
Anyway, this is my second trip to the town since 4 - 5 years ago (before Rachel was born). The city is slowly losing the 'sleepy'-late-70s feeling, with the constructions of new high-rise buildings dotting the coastal landscape and the developments of new shopping malls within the city center. By and large it still managed to retain part of the Straits-Chinese heritage charm in certain areas (that's why tourists come), especially when we took a walk down Jonker Street area.
The journey took about 3 hours using the second link, coupled with two short stops for bios break, leg stretch and lunch. We reached the Hotel Equitorial just before 3pm for check-in. After that, we headed down to Jonker Street for some sight-seeing, shopping and mingling with the tourists/locals in the night market. Took a short rest at the Geographer Cafe.
Missus shopped and shopped. She must have enjoyed herself tremendously. Probably she never had her personal space to shop without Rachel drawing her attention away. Indeed Rachel can sometimes be a handful in shopping centers - running around, trying on clothes, shoes, accessories, girl-stuff, etc.
The next day, we visited the Peranakan Heritage museum/town house. The entrance is RM8 per pax. It was very reasonable as we got to see the deep history up to 4 generations of the family who owned the museum, the traditional customs and culture of a pure Peranakan family.
This is a must-see, make-your-money-worth tour. The valuable antiques and furniture inside are well-preserved. I was still awed by the deep history of the Peranakans, being a half-Peranakan myself (late mum's side). Even the tour guide was the same lady who had brought us the first time round. She didn't change a bit, even! I know it's her because of the monotonous, 'mechanical' voice (as if reading from a script) while she was conducting the tour. It was as if she had been saying those words for a millionth time. Probably...
We had the famous chicken rice-balls for lunch in the shophouse by the bridge. Still tasted as good since the first time I had it 4-5 years ago. Not those commercialized restaurants trying to emulate the original. You'll know the shophouse is the original, authentic, good-tasting one when:
- It is always crowded.
- It opens only during noon time. By 4pm it closes, while the other restaurants are still open.
We ate at Jonker 88 eating house. Tried the nonya laska and chendol. Absolutely delicious too!
Then it was more shopping (all hail the missus) at the Mahkota shopping center till mid-afternoon. We took a swim back at the hotel and had our dinner at the Banonya Peranakan Restaurant nearby. And then more shopping into the night. *groan*
We headed back to the hotel at 10pm as I wanted to catch the match between Man United and Bolton Wanderers. Final score: Man U 4 Bolton 0. Sweet!
I never knew Missus missed shopping so much! It was non-stop into the night till the shops in the shopping center started to close. I thought the 4-letter word that most women wanted to hear was 'LOVE'. It must have changed to 'SHOP' and 'SALE' after marriage. Sheesh...
Next day was the trip back home. We missed Nog-nog (Rachel's pet name) very badly. I only wanted to see her expression when I present the princess watch to her.
Rachel went absolutely crazy about the watch. She even slept with it! I'm a proud father. *smiles*
Overall, I enjoyed the trip (7.5/10). But I think missus enjoyed it more. Must have been the shopping factor.
In summary, the must-do in Malacca:
- Jonker 88 eating house cum museum - 7.5/10
- Jonker Street night market (opens from Friday - Sunday every week) - 7/10
- Peranakan Heritage Museum - 8/10
- Shophouse selling chicken rice-balls at the bridge - 8.5/10
- Authentic Peranakan Food (either Banonya or Ole Sayang Restaurant) - 7.5/10
- Pineapple tarts - 7.5/10
- Shopping (for me) - 6/10
- Shopping (for her) - 12/10